By Farouk Garba and Bilkisu Ado Zanzo
Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) in collaboration with Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board (SPHCMB) organized a Round Table Interactive Session on Saturday 2nd of May 2015 at Tahir Guest Palace to commemorate the “African Vaccination Week”. The session was aimed at reviewing Routine Immunization (RI) performance indicators, RI progress and funding in Kano on vaccines.
Stakeholders represented at the meeting included Executive Secretary SPHCMB, State Immunization Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), WHO, UNICEF, E4A, Rotary P. Plus, media houses (Freedom radio, Pyramid FM. Express radio, Wazobia FM, Rahama radio, Radio Kano, AIT, ARTV) and over 20 NGOs/CSOs in the State.
The Executive Secretary Primary Health Care Management Board Dr. Shehu who explained that the theme of the celebration “Closing Immunization gap” is very timely indicated that Nigeria has achieved success in recording no case of polio in the last 9 months.
He said RI in Kano State has recorded great improvement since the signing of the tripartite MoU by Kano State Government, BMGF and Dangote Foundation which has gone a long way in solving the problem of funding and has improved coverage and performance of RI. He also commended effort of partners and lunched branded T-Shirts, hand bags and posters supported by CHR and WHO.
Presentations were made on RI performance Indicators in Kano State by Dr. Sani Umar (WHO), RI progress and funding in Kano State by Dr. Sharif Y. M. (SPHCMB) and Key messages on vaccines financing by Muhammad I. Shu’aib (CHR).
Inadequate community mobilization for RI, lack of monthly harmonized Supportive Supervision Plan, data for analysis and feedback not forgetting data quality issues particularly at HFs and LGA levels were some of the challenges faced in conducting RI in Kano state
Recommendation given at the meeting included the need to intensify community mobilization activities to ensure that the children are mobilized to the session sites for immunization (reducing dropouts), harmonize the State Supervisory Plan, the State Supportive Supervision data generated needs to be analyzed and feedback given on monthly basis and the need for quality data management were highlighted.
The call to action according to the Executive Director CHR Muhammad Shuaib is that “Nigeria needs a sustainable mechanism for paying for her vaccines, a mechanism that will not be affected by changing donor priorities or market forces, challenging economic environment, falling oil prices, declining naira, diminishing federal revenue among others, while the State governments, private sectors, foundation as well as philanthropies should contribute to financing vaccines, as the Federal government cannot do it alone”.